I have a theory about American foreign policy.
Namely, that those tasked to handle it rarely have any grasp of religion. Specifically, religion as motivator of the actions taken by others.
Instead, the brahmins prefer to substitute economic interests, ethnicity, or even class whenever they hear a religious tag. It's easier, and more reassuring, to think that way. The idea that someone is motivated by messianic impulses--and reports visions related to such impulses--is too fantastic to consider.
Oh, nononononononononono--Mr. Ahmadinejad is actually motivated by Persian nationalism and related grievances. He doesn't actually believe in any of that Twelfth Imam stuff. That's why we should try to talk to him, like the Baker Commission says.
Come on--get real. Motivated by religion? Nobody I know is.